Bus driver in fatal Athens crash pleads not guilty

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ATHENS, Texas (KETK) — The driver involved in an Athens ISD bus crash that killed a 13-year-old student has pleaded not guilty.

According to his defense attorney Brian Schmidt 78-year-old John Stevens, entered the plea this morning during his arraignment.

Stevens has been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.

He had bond set at $10,000 and was released after his arrest.

Stevens was driving on Friday, January 25 with two children onboard when the bus collided with a Union Pacific train.

According to the investigation report, Stevens came to a stop, but continued across the tracks.

The train pushed the bus one quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

Christopher Bonilla, 13, was killed when he was ejected from the bus. Joselyne Torres, 9, was injured in the crash.

Stevens was shown support by the community after the crash, with many saying he was a victim as well.

Athens residents took him food, and students launched a letter-writing campaign to show their support.

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